Dear brothers and sisters,
We are now very close to Christmas. This feast, so important for all Christian peoples and celebrated with such excitement in every part of the world, wherever a Christian community is found, must help us to understand the great gift we have received: life and the faith. God is born as a man; he has accepted the proposal of the Father as we heard in the Letter to the Hebrews: Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me (Heb 10,5). You are not pleased by the exterior, and often false, types of reconciliation of the various peoples of the world. You desired that your Son might carry out the reconciliation between heaven and earth, between God and man. You willed that he become man in order to encounter men, to fascinate them with his words, his actions, his humanity and his charity, to take upon himself all their evil, and to bring them to you as sons.
God is born as a man and in this way reveals the great value of human life. Let us give him thanks for having called us to life! Yet God did not just call us to life. All fathers and mothers know that it would not be worth it to give birth, were it not possible to offer to the one who is born a reason to live, the reason for living. How many men and women are marked by solitude, by delusion, by wounds, by hate. How many persons no longer have a reason to live! How much violence in the world is due to those who are unable to love, because they have no source of light and joy in their life!
By sending his Son, God lights up the world with faith, that is, he gives us a reason to live. We are loved, we are forgiven, we are picked up from the dust of our evil because there is a Father who does all this and assures us of his promises, by sending Jesus his Son.
Today I ordain two deacons on their way to the order of the priesthood, which I hope they will receive very soon. They were called by the Lord precisely to carry out what today we see in Mary: they are called to carry Jesus. This is the charity the world especially needs: that there be someone who carries Jesus. Who carries him as these brothers will carry him: bringing the Eucharist, and interpreting and explaining the Word of God, above all with their life. This evening I ask God to grant them a life that, through joys and sorrows, exudes the presence of Christ.
When he is present, joy reappears even if we cannot magically cancel the veil of sadness for our evil and our limitedness. Let us ask the Lord insistently for the grace to be joyful and sure because we are entrusted into his hands, which hold us, guide us, and caress us even when striking us in order to correct us.
Thank-you, dear friends, who have accepted to say yes to the Lord who calls you to a closer participation in his mission! Love the home where God has placed you, the Fraternity of St. Charles and its houses, and live giving thanks, singing the mercy of God forever.